from a dad's view


Sunflower – watercolor

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Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, months, to which you feel like this sunflower looks? Since I’ve hit the 50 mark… a few years ago, this represents me big time. I don’t mind the wrinkles, the wilting of the hair, or the drooping of muscles… what little I had, but no energy! That sucks! I try to stay busy when I get home from work and that helps, but it takes a lot more effort to maintain verticality. Forget the six pack abs, guns for arms, and the ability to run with-out passing out, just give me a BIG-O-BUCKET of energy, and I would be loving it!

Here are a 10 signs that your flower is wilting!
1. When you go out to get the Sunday paper… and realize it’s Monday!
2. When you use the excuse that the recliner is more comfortable than your bed… but it’s really because you don’t have the energy to get up and go to bed.
3. (Mostly old men) when you notice that your pant zipper is very seldom zipped up now days… to much energy wasted zipping them, and faster access when you’ve layed in the recliner so long that you almost pee yourself!
4. When you fall asleep… before your wife!
5. When your triceps wave more than your hand… when waving!
6. When you try to z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z, oops! Fall asleep while blogging!
7. When your wife is frisky… and you claim to have a headache!
8. When you stop at 8 in a top ten reason list… because you just don’t have the energy to make 10!

You all can fill in the rest… I’m going to take a nap!

16″ x 20″ watercolor on 140lb coldpress paper

We all love dogs – Watercolors

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These are two recent watercolors of mine that will be given away for two important reasons. The first will be going to a friend of my daughters for a Valentine Day gift for his wife. It’s easy to go out and buy flowers or candy, but something unique or handmade, always made more sense to me and I hope his wife loves it.

Although important for this friend, the second painting is a life changer. Maybe not the painting, but what it will be auctioned off for hopefully will be. A high school friend of mine will be auctioning off the original, and will be offering prints to purchase in order to raise money for children with Epilepsy, and has a need for a trained early warning dog by their side. Knowing how important these dogs can be to change, and save lives, it was an easy choice to donate. My daughter trains dogs for the military PTSD, and other specially trained dogs, not only are the dogs amazing, but the trainers are equally amazing. The Gala and Auction will be held in Indiana and I hope that the auction is successful and will be able to supply several children with the dogs that they desperately need as a companion, and early warning alert system.

As an artist, I believe that God has given me (us) a gift to use as a craft to make a living, and help others that are in need. Please as an artist, give your time and art to special charities, churches, or any other group that may need just a little help.

Greens in Winter – Watercolor

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Even though I am a warm weathered person, I love the heat, the sun and the oceans, there’s not a lot of things in this world that is more calming and beautiful than a walk through a woods with fresh snow on the ground. It has a refreshing smell of pines and fresh air when you breathe it in, and to see the wildlife flying or running around as though they have a new lease on life. I love the convenience of the city, but the man to earth relationship of the country.  I have always been an explorer at heart and the finding of foot prints, nest, bones, shells, and other wonders of the woods, just make it more exciting to wonder. There used to be a tag line on the Indiana license plates that said “Wonder Indiana”, they must have created that by watching my actions. I can start a walk early in the morning and absolutely get lost in time and explore the woods an entire day. I know I have written about walking before, but a walk on concrete and asphalt isn’t what I was talking about. Sure it’s physically healthy to walk on streets, but the walking through nature, especially a woods or around a lake, is both mentally and physically healthy. This is great time of the year in the midwest to do so, the bugs are almost nonexistent  and it’s cool and refreshing, just make sure that you where bright orange or go to a park to avoid the deer hunters like myself. As you walk take time to look close at the shape of trees, the formation of the stones and landscape, and stop every once in a while and give time to fool the creators in to thinking that you’re not there and listen to them communicate with song and chatter.  I hope you have fun and think of me and this painting while doing so!

Have a great weekend!

God’s gift was given

A Gift was Given

So many people pray, whether whispered, spoken aloud, or maybe a simple quiet thought. I’m not sure if a prayer was answered or just given to me with-out prayer.  We forget as our life passes by, the prayers that have been given with-out being ask for.  It was almost eighty years ago, long before I was born, I was graced by God without being prayed for. You see my Mother-in-law was born in a small (really small town) in southern Indiana. Along with her twin brother and several other sisters and brothers, they grew up knowing a simple life, but a Christian life. That young girl as pretty as her middle name (Rose) would eventually marry a man who I admired and loved, and still do even today after his death twenty-three years ago. God graced me, and so many others by allowing us to know, their love and become a part of their family. I have been with the family for thirty-three years, and married to their beautiful gift from God for twenty-seven years.

We lost my father-in-law twenty-three years ago, and now my mother-in-law last week. I’ll miss them both forever, but I find comfort in knowing that they are once again together. I realize now that a gift was given, and with that gift families were given even more gifts. Gifts from the Lord will always be there, we just have to accept them and love each and every one of them.

Ryan’s Prayer

Thank you Lord

for the Rose that was gifted,

Its beauty and life,

the reason our hearts, will always be lifted.


A rose that brought love and sunshine

with her loving delicate touch,

a love that will never be forgotten,

and always be missed, so very much.


So bring her into heaven,

and please give her a special place,

place her soul in the heaven’s bouquet,

allowing her and Gene to once again embrace.


The beauty in our heaven

has never been so bright,

two souls joined once again,

making a single, loving, brilliant light.


Allow their light to shine downward

upon us who keep them near to our heart,

for someday will be together again,

eternally never to part.


Lord I ask thee,

for this I pray,

keep them near your heart,

until we’re all together again one day.



Night-time winter barn – watercolor

I’m not sure that there is a more peaceful moment than taking a night-time stroll, while the ground is covered with brilliantly white snow. The really cool thing is, that a flashlight or any other form of light isn’t needed, because the snow and moon creates its own illumination.  The only few sounds that are heard, is the crunching of the packing snow under your feet, and the whispers of the wind blowing through the trees.  I also think that you feel a little more alive, when you can feel the freshness and the crisp air entering your lung, and the visual of  life, when you exhale. I think this is important now days because we seem to be just living life, not appreciating being alive! I have a wonderful friend, with a wonderful family, that just lost a wonderful brother. He was young, but cancer didn’t care, and took his life just this weekend. He found out about his cancer less than a year ago, has battled strongly, but lost that battle Sunday. So the next time that you see your kids, parents, siblings and friends, squeeze a little harder on the hugs, grab their necks and wrap your arm around them a little more, and feel the love between your touch and their heart. And this winter if you are in an area that receives a white winters blanket, breath in and feel life entering your lungs, and breath out and see the air that God has given us, to enjoy the time that we have on the Earth.

This painting is dedicated to the memory of Larry, a brother of a friend, a son, father, husband, outdoorsman and a friend. Prayers for Larry’s family, and prayers for those who are still battling this awful disease.

A Big Smile, Strength, Contagious Energy… and Cancer

This post started about 25 years ago in a little art store that was about the only place to buy art supplies at the time.  As you walked into the store normally there was just one clerk, but that one clerk always had a smile and a friendly greeting.  By my own experience as a bellman, front desk person, restaurant manager, bar manager and catering manager in the hotel industry before my art career, I can tell you that smile from anyone working with the public, is just short of a miracle.  But this lady always had a faith-based happiness, and was always willing to share it.  About once a month for the last 25 years, I still try by our art supplies from her and the franchise company she now works for, not because I can’t find these products somewhere else, but because of this clerks friendliness and energy.  A few months ago while buying supplies she walks up to me with extremely short hair, a warm smile, and ask how I was doing.  I replied just fine, in return I ask how she was doing and she replied wonderful, I’m getting ready to celebrate my birthday soon.  Now, knowing women above the age of 29… if there are women above the age of 29, never celebrate their birthdays.  I made the comment that I didn’t think at our age we were supposed to celebrate birthdays anymore.  She then explained her motivation, 2 years prior to this,  she was diagnosed with cancer and was given less than a year to live, and that she had lost her young mother, two years later her father, and then her husband of a heart attack.  So, from this point on, to her, every birthday, is one the doctors had told her she wasn’t going to have, and so she celebrates.  She also informed me that she was comfortable with God’s decision, whether here or in heaven. Her wonderful attitude, energy, along with her strong Christian belief, still puts a smile on her face every time you walk into the store.  And to be honest with you, I didn’t even realize that she was going thru all of this, because of her wonderful attitude.

I can’t tell you why, but I had this need to do a painting and give it to her for her birthday.  I’ll be honest with you, I felt odd taking it to her, not knowing how she would take it, but it was something I wanted to do.  I had found out thru the other workers that she loved purple and flowers, so iris’s was the choice of my painting.  I had to buy supplies yesterday for my daughter, so I took it in the store and was fortunate she was working.  Of course with a giant smile she greets me as soon as I walked in.  I told her that I had something for her, with a look of puzzlement on her face, I handed her the painting and told her happy birthday.  Stunned and probably confused, soon turned into a smile and warm feeling of happiness and a hug.  With all the strength, faith, determination and friendliness and warmth, she deserved this painting and so much more.

I hope and pray for the cure of cancer, I hope and pray that someday we fear this horrible disease no more, and I hope and pray for years to come, I can walk into that store to buy my art supplies, and be greeted by her wonderful smile and warm friendliness.

Man up and Fix IT! Oil Spill

This is a quick marker and watercolor sketch for a painting, depicting the disgust I have for all the destruction of the gulf.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for drilling, both coastal and inland, this is a source we need and have plenty of if done right.  First of all, if it was closer to the shoreline it would have been cap within days, but because of the depth, it makes the procedures near impossible to do quickly.  Secondly, what the heck is up with the government  and its red tape and stupidity.  From what I understand there were clean up ships offered by other countries within days of the spill to help in the clean up, but was refused by a crazy law, not allowing foreign-made ships to be used for such matters… what, huh, what!  From what I understand both President Bush and President Clinton allowed this law to be lapse in order to receive help for exxon and other matters. I’m sure you all have seen the same videos that I have on different products and ideas for soaking up and cleaning up this disaster, but yet they do very little to clean up that which has already been spilled.

So, this sketch is my version of the greed and politics at its worst, allowing something so wonderful and needed to slip through the hands of those responsible and becoming something horrible and deadly.

What I would love to see is someone taking this sketch or your own version and paint it.  I give complete permission to use my art on this one sketch to do so.  All I ask is that you contact me once finished so that I can see your work.

O.K. BP, Federal Government and President Obama, get off your ass, get off the political maneuvering, and get this thing fixed.

GoldFinch Watercolor

There must be a God,

a creator of such creatures,

a splash of golden yellow,

upon their feathers and their features.

Dancing among the thistles,

as though kids in play,

as others flying in,

while the others dance away.

The males wear a toupee of black,

with golden yellows shining bright,

while the females beauty is faded,

their colors a little slight.

More beauty attires the males,

as they strut and do their dance,

trying to impress the females,

as they hope and to have a chance.

A touch of golden yellow,

on God’s Earthly painting of wonder,

full of amazing colors and life,

so stop, look and ponder.

All a Board! – watercolor

This is a watercolor that I did years ago for my stepfather. My stepfather is a wonderful, loving man that took pride in everything he did. Born into a very very poor family, he was forced more or less into being a migrant worker while in grade school. He worked picking cotton out in the fields, when most kids were playing baseball or playing with trucks. They ate anything that crawled or flew, and had very few clothes. He had several jobs growing up up including shining shoes, barber, military and the railroad. His education only extended to the 8th grade but he is one of the most brilliant and intelligent person that I’ve known. He absorbed everything around him in both books and life. He began working on the L&N and CSX railroad in his thirties and retired from it years ago. Even though they are on the train most of the time it is a very hard and dirty job, but every time he got called in whether it was in the afternoon or middle of the night, he would always sharpen his knife to the point of being able to shave hair off your arms, shine his boots to perfection, iron his shirt and jeans. He taught us to respect and have pride in what we have, are jobs and most of all family. He is the one who always pushed me to be the artist I am, when everyone else seen it as a waste of time and I thank him for this.

He suffers from Ahlzeimers for about six years now and things are changing, but he still has a wonderful sense of humor  and still continues to love and hold his stepchildren and grandchildren close to his heart. So my love and my heart will always be with my stepdad, no matter what the future holds for him or myself.

Love Ya dad!